Jul 1 2011 By Colin Mackenzie
At least there will only one screamer in tomorrow's women's final at Wimbledon after Petra Kvitova knocked out Victoria Azarenka in three sets prior to Maria Sharapova's demolition of Sabine Lisicki.
Kvitova, 21, from the Czech republic, will surely provide more opposition than the hapless Lisicki who froze in the oppressive atmosphere on Centre Court yesterday.
In truth Sharapova played moderately with 13 double faults peppering her efforts in only eight service games. She blamed the wind - but she ought to examine her service toss.
As unforced errors followed in rapid sequence the Centre Court crowd resorted to shouts of "Come on Shazza" to Sharapova and "Come on Sunbeam" to Lisicki. There was even a "Come On Andy" as spectators moaned at the poor quality of this semi final. Hollywood legend Robert Redford couldn't bare to remain in the Royal Box beyond the first set.
Eventually Sharapova, whose ground strokes were powerful and accurate, broke the Lisicki serve again at 5-3 in the second set to put everyone out of their misery.
Afterwards the Florida-based Siberian said; "I remember I was so thrilled to be in the Final back then (2004 when she became champion at 17). I had been down and out in the semis, ready to pack my bags and go home. It just happened to rain and I was able to turn things around."
Kvitova, watched by Czech legends Martina Navratilova and Jana Novotna, used her powerful left handed serve and ground strokes to outplay fourth seed Azarenka who managed to unsettle her opponent enough to bag the second set 6-3.
But Kvitova's power - demonstrated by her 40 clear winners to her opponent's nine - eventually won the day 6-2 in the final set in a match that was by far the more competitive and interesting of the semi finals.
She is the first left hander to reach the final since Navratilova in 1994 and the latter believes she has a big chance of the title. The nine times Wimbledon champion said; "At the start of the tournament I picked Kvitova and I have seen nothing to make me change my mind."
And why does Kvitova think she can beat Sharapova? "Because I'm a leftie - and that gives me a huge advantage."
Whether Centre Court fans felt they had value for money yesterday is open to debate - despite women gaining parity in prize money at Wimbledon. The poverty of play - especially in the Sharapova/Lisicki match - was frustrating.
But today there should be no complaints with Novak Djokovic opening proceedings against the exciting Jo Wilfried Tsonga and then Andy Murray trying to wrest the Wimbledon title from Rafael Nadal.
Injury doubts have plagued both Nadal and Murray - but 12 million television fans in the UK and many more millions around the world - can expect the adrenalin to kick in to provide a memorable repeat of last year's match.
One bright spark for the future of Breitish tennis was the gutsy two hours 41 minutes victory of Liam Broady over big serving German Robin Kern in the boys singles quarter finals.
Left-handed Broady had to withstand serves of up to 133 mph - plus second serves averaging 110 mph - from the German. He now faces world No 1 Jason Kubler from Australia in the semi final.